IF YOU ARE BEING INVESTIGATED FOR
A SERIOUS CRIME, CALL THE OFFICE
OF DOUG MANER IMMEDIATELY AT 209-581-2985 (OFFICE) OR 209-315-5898 (CELLPHONE).
DO NOT SPEAK TO ANYONE ABOUT
YOUR CASE UNTIL YOU HAVE SPOKEN
TO DOUG MANER. EVEN IF YOU ARE
NOT YET UNDER ARREST, ANYTHING
YOU SAY CAN AND WILL BE USED AGAINST YOU.
Representation of a defendant in a capital case presents a Criminal Defense Attorney with his greatest challenges.
Death Penalty cases are different in the intense intellectual and emotional toll they take on everyone involved in capital litigation. The nature of the penalty and the preparation and presentation of a penalty phase of a trial are unique in legal litigation.
Participants in the Death Penalty College develop the skills, knowledge and insight needed to try a capital case. In addition to the learning, participants and faculty are united in the common goal of saving lives and develop the feeling of cooperation and community.
This unique program takes a “team” approach to preparing the penalty trial and encourages lawyers to attend with their mitigation specialist. Instruction includes lectures, demonstrations and small group workshops.
Presented by California Attorneys for Criminal Justice (CACJ) and the California Public Defenders’ Association (CPDA), the 2013 Capital Case Defense Seminar was part of Doug's ongoing professional education focused on the defense of a capital case. Designed for professionals working in capital defense, it included sessions on Trial, Post-Conviction, Neuopsychology, Forensics, DNA, Mental Health and Investigation/Mitigation. It also included sessions addressing murder an felony charges other than capital cases.
Graphic via The Innocence Project, http://www.innocenceproject.org/causes-wrongful-conviction
STATES WHERE DEATH PENALTY HAS BEEN ABOLISHED* (note, California now joins this list
as a State where there is a moratorium)
STATE BY STATE MORATORIUMS*
WHETHER YOU'VE COMMITTED IT OR NOT, BEING ACCUSED OF A SERIOUS OR VIOLENT CRIME IN CALIFORNIA CAN BE A FRIGHTENING AND SOUL-SEARING EXPERIENCE. THE LAW OFFICE OF DOUG MANER UNDERSTANDS THAT. We bring not only our expertise to your case, but also our compassion and sympathy for your situation. Doug Maner has over 30 years experience as a criminal litigator and a track record of securing positive outcomes for his clients in over 100 jury trials.
PLEASE CONTACT OUR OFFICE FOR INFORMATION ON AVAILABLE PAYMENT PLANS.
Even if the defendant did not actually kill the individual but had intentions of doing so, there are substantial consequences. Attempted murder is a serious offense that carries severe consequences. If convicted, the defendant faces the potential of life in prison.
As a result of the California Street Terrorism Enforcement and Prevention Act that is part of Penal Code § 186.22 PC, gang crimes can result in serious penalties to the defendant if convicted. Some of the gang laws in California address charges for participation in a gang and the gang sentencing enhancement.
ASSAULT / BATTERY
Assault in California is described under Penal Code § 240 PC as an unlawful attempt to commit a violent injury on another individual while possessing the ability to do so. Battery is a criminal offense under Penal Code § 242 PC that occurs when the defendant willfully and unlawfully uses force or violence against another person.
Robbery involves the theft of another individual's property against their will through the use of force
or fear. Robbery must include intention to permanently deprive that individual of his or her property.
THREE STRIKES LAW IN CALIFORNIA
As a result of Proposition 36, the Three Strikes Law requires defendants who have been convicted of
a second felony to be sentenced to state prison for double the term for that specific crime. If the defendant is convicted of a third felony that constitutes as a strike, the mandated state prison time is
a minimum of 25 years to life. Many violent crime convictions are considered "strikes" under California law. Other penalties also exist for individuals who are convicted of a violent felony crime. The specific sentence will depend on a variety of factors, including: defendant's criminal record; specific crime charged; level of violence against victim.
THE LAW OFFICE OF DOUGLAS D. MANER brings a multitude of topnotch resources to building each Criminal Defense strategy. No two crimes, or people who allegedly committed them, are exactly alike. Our team of experts works together with the defense to bring to light the facts that are unique to each situation as they impact each case.
Doug Maner worked as a Prosecutor for 20 years. The experience gave him unique insights into how the District Attorney's office and the police will build their case. He understands what type of evidence will be sought as well as what might be overlooked - oftentimes, evidence that will support the fact that a crime was accidental or, in actuality, committed by someone else. In cases such as these, it must be asked, What is the cost of charging the wrong person with murder? A wrongfully charged defendant and his family loses a year of more of his life while incarcerated awaiting vindication. The actual killer goes free , perhaps to re-offend while Police & DA hours are wasted during times of low resources.
Doug Maner works with several brilliant INVESTIGATORS and PARALEGALS on a daily basis to discover the real facts of each case. Several of these are former police investigators with many years experience and the training to spot weaknesses in the case the prosecution is building.
Before becoming a criminal litigator, Doug defended and sued doctors in medical malpractice cases. The experience gave him a solid understanding of medical issues and afforded him access to hundreds of the top medical experts and forensic psychologists; specialists that Doug is able to call upon as experts, paid by the Court at no charge to defendants.
Among the PARALEGALS and ATTORNEYS we work with are:
• Lawyer, case researcher (and military vet) who helps review complex cases with thousands of pages of police reports and drafts motions to exclude evidence illegally obtained, and to get the reports the DA and police don't want us to have.
•ﾠParalegal, PhD Candidate with a background in Education and access/understanding of school records and educational issues that might be part of a client's defense, particularly in the case of juvenile gang-related defense strategies (see CASE STUDIES below).
•ﾠLegal Researcher, Appellate Attorney, trained in review of complex legal documents often 5,000-10,000 pages of documentation with a specialty in Death Penalty cases.
Other paralegals with an assortment of specialties in Criminal Law.
When describing his team, Mr. Maner says, "It's like being a Symphony Conductor. Each member of the team plays a finely tuned role in achieving an astonishingly good result. And I'm able to lead and bring it all together."
ASSAULT CASE*. OUTCOME: NO STRIKE
A young African American man was accused of home burglary, domestic violence, evading the police , a variety of weapons charges and felony assault on an inmate in jail. He, unfortunately, had a fairly significant criminal history as a juvenile. The DA was adamant that they would convict him of a strike and send him to prison for 5-10 years. My client confessed to the home burglary he was charged with, the domestic violence was witnessed by several neighbors, and multiple police officers would testify to my client's possession, use and theft of firearms. Initially, this seemed like a very challenging case.
However, as our investigation progressed, we learned of several learning and intellectual disabilities that our client suffered. After thoroughly researching our client‘s school and juvenile records, and persisting in our attempts to obtain these records in the face of significant resistance from the government authorities involved, we were able to obtain the necessary data to document our clients disabilities. We then contacted a psychiatric neurologist who is currently assisting us in several death penalty cases and had him review these records and examine our client. His credentials are impeccable. He was willing to testify that our client‘s severe intellectual disabilities prevented him from making a knowing and effective waiver of his Miranda rights. We presented this information to the DA and were able to convince them that our client‘s confession would be inadmissible. Consequently, the home burglary charge was dismissed.
Our client pled guilty to several lesser offenses and avoided a strike conviction, which would have required almost automatic prison time for any subsequent felony offence. We were able to negotiate a disposition that will allow our client to be released from custody in a few months.
No matter how tough your case may seem, and no matter how aggressive and determined Law Enforcement appears to be, there is still hope if you hire an experienced criminal law attorney with access to the best experts and an intimate knowledge of the ins and outs of the criminal justice system.
* Name and other identifying data has been withheld to protect our client‘s rights of privacy.
According to Doug Maner, Stanislaus County has over twice as many Capital cases as San Bernadino County, which is a “very violent place with a large population (and a jury pool likely to vote for death).” Death Penalty cases take substantially more resources than your “average” homicide. These costs include two defense attorneys, substantial pre-trial litigation, multiple expert witnesses, increased man hours from the police to prepare and prosecute, court costs, including double the time to complete a jury trial; not to mention the costs to the state after conviction. What do our citizens get for these extra costs? Certainly not an actual death sentence since the average time from conviction to death in California is around 25 years, and the current death penalty has been suspended pending the outcome of federal litigation.
Additionally, more and more frequently, a new case will appear in the news regarding someone who was wrongfully accused and convicted of a serious crime and has spent 20 to 30 years sitting on Death Row, until new evidence brings the innocence of the convicted to light.
How does society benefit from the DA's insistence on the Death Penalty when they can almost always obtain a life sentence of everyone they’ve charged with death? These are tough questions for which our Courts currently have no valid answer.
In recent years, the pace of DNA exonerations has revealed serious imperfections and trends in our criminal justice system. And, for every case overturned for DNA evidence, there are hundreds that are not. Biological evidence may be lost or tampered with. “In each case where DNA has proven innocence beyond doubt, an overlapping array of contributing factors has emerged – from mistakes to misconduct to factors of race and class.” (TheInnocenceProject.org)
According to research from The Innocence Project, the common causes or wrongful conviction are: Eyewitness Misidentification, False Confessions or Admissions, Government Misconduct, Unvalidated or Improper Forensic Science, Informants, and Inadequate Defense.
Since the US Supreme Court reinstated the Death Penalty in 1978, 149 people have been freed from Death Row.
Take the case of Glenn Ford, freed from Death Row in October, 2014 after spending 30 years in solitary confinement at Angola State Prison in Louisiana. He was convicted of armed robbery and murder in a jewelry store robbery with the only evidence of his guilt being the sale of some of stolen jewelry that could be linked to the robbery and nothing else to implicate him in the crime. Recently, the prosecutor in the case, Marty Stroud, has gone public about the anguish he has felt since Ford's innocence was discovered. Stroud recounts, "the cards and the system were stacked against Ford from the beginning: his court-appointed lawyers had never practiced criminal law.” There was no physical evidence linking Ford to the crime. The prosecution's key witness later admitted that, coerced by police, she had fabricated her testimony. He was finally exonerated when one of the initial suspects in the case told a police informant, 30 years later, that it was he who committed the crime.
When Mr. Ford was released, he was diagnosed with lung cancer. Although the government owed him $330,000 ($11,000 per year x 30) for wrongful imprisonment, he was given a $20 gift card and wished good luck. The current DA is withholding this compensation on the premise that Mr. Ford did commit a crime by selling stolen goods. Mr. Ford died shortly after his release from lung cancer at a home for newly released prisoners.
READ FULL ARTICLE HERE
The Death penalty is temporarily not being imposed in California, since a moratorium was passed in July of last year. Hopefully it will remain that way until the voters or politicians eliminate this penalty. This can only be good news for those poor souls currently on death row, and those who are currently fighting Capital cases.
Nebraska joins the list of many states that, like California, have abolished or suspended the Death Penalty.
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/28/us/nebraska-abolishes-death-penalty.html?_r=1 However, the Nebraska law only applies to new cases, not to those who had already been sentenced and are awaiting execution on Death Row.
Capital punishment was abolished throughout the US in 1972 through 1976 by Federal Law, primarily as a result of the Supreme Court decision in Furman v. Georgia.* The District of Columbia and 19 States do not currently have an enforceable death penalty statute.*
Capital punishment was abolished throughout the US in 1972 through 1976 by Federal Law, primarily as a result of the Supreme Court decision in Furman v. Georgia.* At that time, Justices Thurgood Marshall and William J. Brennan handed down the opinion that the Death Penalty was proscribed by the Eighth Amendment of the US Constitution as "cruel and unusual" punishment.
However, in 1976, 37 States enacted new Death Penalty legislation and executions began anew. New Jersey was the first to abolish the Death Penalty followed shortly by New Mexico in 2009 replacing the Death Penalty with a sentence of Life without Parole.
The Death Penalty remains a controversial issue. Today, the US is one of only four industrialized nations with a death penalty. The others are Japan, Singapore, and Korea which currently has a moratorium on the death penalty. It is the only of the G8 countries to have performed an execution (43) in recent years.*
Opponents to the Death Penalty site moral grounds, excessive cost, failure as a deterrent to crime, and risk of executing the innocent. There is the argument that it is a barbaric practice and that because the way it is imposed can be somewhat arbitrarily, it is systemically flawed.
Those in favor, say the Death Penalty deters crime by eliminating recidivism and provides closer to family and relatives of victims.
Current trends toward moratoriums on the death penalty, can only be good news for those poor souls currently on death row, and those who are currently fighting Capital cases.